Reply To: any experience. re: 3M Novec 1230 fire protection fluid system?


I’m not personally familiar with 3M Novec 1230 but here in canada many archies, libraries have installed FM200 as a replacement for halon systems or, because they prefered not to have a water based system.

While gas based suppression systems may work well enough to extinguish a fire there are other consideration to selecting that type of suppressant over a water sprinkler system.  Gas suppressants are more costly to install and to maintain properly.  If the gas discharges it is expensive to refill the tanks.  Once it discharges you have no protection until the tanks are refilled – what if the fire restarts because the gas did not completely extinguish it first time. If you have a back-up of water sprinkler as some institutions do then that is not an issue. The force at which the gas is released  however can pose a risk of damage to collections on shelves near the gas discharge heads.  They should not be installed in rooms where people regularly work.  You have very limited time to evacuate the room once alarm sounds and before gas is discharged.  The room must be a closed area with a door kept closed at all times – not propped open during working hours as I have frequently seen on my risk assessment tours of facilities.  Just a few thoughts.

Personally I still favour plain old wet pipe sprinkler systems.  With the right warning alarms and type of sprinkler heads they are best cost , low maintenance, and effective in my humble view.